Se­nate Democrats force de­lay in panel’s vote on Gor­such

Three more likely to vote no on Trump’s high court choice.

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By Mary Clare Jalonick

Se­nate Democrats on Mon­day forced a one-week de­lay in a com­mit­tee vote on Pres­i­dent Don- ald Trump’s Supreme Court nom­i­nee, who re­mains on track for con­fir­ma­tion with solid Repub­li­can back­ing.

Sen. Chuck Grass­ley, R-Iowa, chair­man of the Judi- ciary Com­mit­tee, an­nounced that, as ex­pected, Democrats have re­quested a post­pone- ment. The com­mit­tee vote on Judge Neil Gor­such now will be held April 3.

As the com­mit­tee read­ies to vote, three addi- tional Democrats said they are likely to vote against the Den­ver-based ap­peals court judge.

Florida Sen. Bill Nel- son and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono said they will vote against Gor­such, and Ver- mont Sen. Pa­trick Leahy tweeted that he still was un­de­cided but in­clined to op­pose him. Leahy is a se­nior mem­ber of the Ju­di­ciary panel and a for­mer chair­man.

That means at least 17 Democrats and in­de­pen- dents, led by Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have an­nounced their oppo- sition to the Den­ver-based ap­peals court judge, ar­gu­ing that Gor­such has ruled too often against work­ers and in fa­vor of cor­po­ra­tions.

The Democrats who have an­nounced their op­po­si­tion have also said they will try to block the nom­i­nee, mean- ing Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R-Ky., will have to hold a pro­ce­dural vote re­quir­ing 60 votes to move for­ward. The Se­nate GOP has a 52-48 ma­jor­ity, meaning McCon­nell will need sup­port from at least eight Democrats or in­de­pen­dents.

It was un­clear whether he would be able to get the 60 votes. If he doesn’t, McCon­nell seems ready to change Se­nate rules and con­firm him with a sim­ple ma­jor­ity.

Repub­li­cans had hoped that they’d see some sup­port from the 10 Democrats run­ning for re-elec­tion in states won by Trump in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, but four of those se­na­tors — Nel­son, Penn­syl­va­nia Sen. Bob Casey, Ohio Sen. Sher­rod Brown and Wis­con­sin Sen. Tammy Bald­win — have al­ready said they will op­pose the nom- inee.

Leahy, how­ever, sig­naled that he may be will­ing to break from Schumer and vote with Repub­li­cans on the pro­ce­dural vote, while also sig­nal­ing in a sep­a­rate tweet he’d vote against Gor­such in the fi­nal, up or down vote.

Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein, the top Demo­crat on the Ju­di­ciary panel, also noted at the brief com­mit­tee meet­ing Mon­day the “depth of feel­ing” among Democrats af­ter Repub­li­cans blocked for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s nom­i­nee for the same seat, Mer­rick Gar­land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.